Franchising (& Distribution) Currents, Winter 2012
The court found that regardless of the provision that the franchisees purportedly violated, Shred-It had to allege properly a relevant market in order to state a violation of the antitrust laws. After explaining that a relevant market must include a well-defined product market and geographic market, the court evaluated Shred-It's "merely seven words" devoted to defining the relevant market: "mobile, on-site document destruction industry in Hawaii." The court rejected plaintiffs' argument that the test as to the accuracy of the relevant market should be conducted at summary judgment or at trial. The court concluded that Shred-It provided nothing more than a legal conclusion and failed to plead the elements of a relevant market with sufficient specificity. The court, recognizing that it may be possible for Shred-It properly to state an antitrust claim, dismissed Shred-It's antitrust claims without prejudice with leave to amend.